Virtual CD and Critical Access Hospitals in Kansas: What’s the Bottom Line?
When you talk about the “bottom line” where the rural, critical access hospitals and the larger, urban and suburban hospitals are concerned, there are vast differences. The bottom line for the critical access hospitals is often much smaller, so much so in fact that every penny is precious. Not only are funds limited, resources such as qualified staff are also an issue. Enter the federal government’s proposal to re-designate what one can consider a “critical access hospital” and you’re going to find many rural facilities crumbling without the revenue they gain through that designation.
News outlets have covered the issue extensively and point out the fact that the re-designation will be “devastating” to smaller health care facilities. In Kansas, for instance, there are 83 critical care hospitals, 72 of which will be adversely affected by the re-designation. Administrators in some of these hospitals say losing the designation could impact revenue from Medicare reimbursements to such an extent that the facilities will fold.
If the feds follow through with the proposal, which was issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, these critical access hospitals, which currently receive 101 percent of their costs from Medicare, will instead be paid what other, non-critical access hospitals receive.
Rural hospitals are already battling the loss of patients and staff to larger hospitals. Meaningful Use standards are also putting pressure on small hospitals to comply with new rules and regulations that add a burdensome expense to an already under budgeted facility. These hospitals are also saddled with PACS that don’t quite handle what’s required of them now. As the Meaningful Use requirements are phased in, it’s obvious that many rural facilities are going to need some help through quality, yet cost-effective solutions for their medical imaging needs.
Regardless of how large or small your medical facility might be, your doctors and patients need to have better access to medical imaging. Health image exchanges are one way to battle the mobility problem that many facilities run into. Vendor neutral archiving is the key component in the health image exchanges that helps connect people to the information they need to improve their health.
About half of the critical access hospitals in Kansas are already operating at a loss. However, the evolution of a cloud service called Virtual CD has helped to improve the way medical images are stored, accessed and shared. The other plus to this technology is that critical access hospitals can save money by using it.
OffSite Image Management, Inc., a company based in St. Joseph, MO and built by former radiology professionals, developed Virtual CD to help healthcare facilities step away from the antiquated practice of burning CDs. With Virtual CD, you only need to access the secure URL to download or view your medical imaging. It’s safe, it’s inexpensive and it’s far more convenient than the old-school CD-burning method. Contact us today and find out how our solutions can help you fight the battle for a better bottom line.